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Emergent Africa

Inspired by George Ayittey's book 'Africa Unchained'.

Updated: 2016-12-09T13:31:35.081-05:00


A book, an exhibition and a docufilm about #Nollywood


From Vogue Italia:
In the portraits by Iké Udé nothing is left to chance. From the outfits to the pose to the backdrop and color saturation: each detail is the result of a meticulous and tireless research, that in the final composition unveils a luminous, almost inevitable elegance...[more]

From the AFDB "Industrialize Africa"


...Africa is at the bottom of the global value chain with its share of global manufacturing at around only 1.9 percent. African economies still rely too heavily on raw commodities; between 2011-2013 manufactured goods made up only 18.5 percent of exports, while 62 percent of total imports were manufactured goods, a commercial imbalance that drains wealth away from the continent. This situation is even worse in countries where a combination of structural constraints and political instability jeopardize any effort for private sector-led economic diversification and transformation. Consequently, most countries have not created the jobs necessary to absorb the significant number of youth, compelling hundreds of thousands to migrate overseas.

To unleash their full potential, African countries must embark on a bold agenda driven by private sector-led investments in industrial transformation.
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The Rise of Emergent Organizations - @bethcomstock


Beth Comstock writing in Medium:
As we pass the tipping point toward a world fast enough and interconnected enough to be dominated by emergent systems, our methods of making decisions, and the tools available to help us make them, are changing...[more]

A Presidium to Protect Ugandas's Ancient Millet Varieties


From Fondazione Slowfood:
Thanks to the work of Slow Food Uganda and the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity, a new Presidium protecting four traditional millet varieties has been established in Uganda.
The Presidium’s 30 producers belong to the Teso ethnic group, an indigenous Nilotic people who for over two centuries have lived in the east and north of Uganda. The different traditional varieties of millet represent an essential food source (the staple of the daily diet) and has a great identity-forming importance. The survival of these varieties is however threatened by the introduction of very productive varieties that come from regional or even international research institutes.
The four traditional millet varieties, Emoru, Emiroit, Engweny and Ebega, each have specific characteristics. Depending on the type, the small spikes are either separated or united in a single inflorescence, and the grains are dark yellow or brown in color. Tall-stalked Ebega and Engweny are ideal for preparing ataapa (a kind of millet polenta) and akouma (porridge). Drought-resistant Emiroit and Emoru are the best suited to the production of beer, ajono...[more]

Democracy isn’t a One Size fits All - Paul Kagame


Waldimar Pelser of City Press reports:
The belief that African states are democratic infants that should all one day grow into Western-style democracies has long bothered Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame. Look at how Europe and the US are “wobbling”. Witness the rise of nationalism. Behold the popular revolts.
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Fak'ugesi 2016


From the Fak'ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival:
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"How the Losers of Globalization Are Fighting Back"


Nigeria’s former finance chief Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala explains at Fortune's Global Forum:
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"I want a Continent of Upright People"


Binyavanga Wainaina writing in Expound Magazine:
I was about to release this on social media, and somebody whose opinion I value very much said she wouldn’t endorse it. I am quite charming, and cuddly, so I manage to get my way a lot of the time. I want a continent of upright people. By this I mean, people who love the continent, and those who have its best interests at heart. I would like a social media movement for all these people to come together for a common purpose. I do not want it to be political, but what is a movement without politics. Which common purpose is POWER...[more]

An Auto Mechanics Graduate's Story


A pipeline for future makerspaces and manufacturing? Vocational Education from WAVs , Gunea- Bissau:
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And the beginings of a hardware software ecosystem:
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7 Nigerian filmmakers pushing boundaries beyond Nollywood


From Nadia Denton at CNN:
There are some exciting content emerging from the Nigerian film space which is largely obscured from view because it does not fit the Nollywood model. The content on the periphery of Nollywood -- Beyond Nollywood as I have termed it is a growth area within the Nigerian film industry and in my opinion the most likely to cross over internationally.
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The Beyond Nollywood weekender presents a motley collective of filmmakers who are creating work that subverts Nollywood both in content and style. Creatives who have interesting things to say about Nigerian culture that is frankly not out there and gives some indication of what is to come from this young industry.
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'Speak Gigantular' by Irenosen Okojie


From Bernardine Evaristo in the Guardian:
Irenosen Okojie’s debut novel, Butterfly Fish, was published last year, winning a Betty Trask award. The story moves between 1970s London and 19th-century Benin in a multigenerational tale that uncovers family secrets and reimagines Yoruba royal history. Noted for its magic realism, it is actually more indebted to the traditions of Nigerian storytelling that weave together the real, fantastical, fabular and spiritual, exemplified by Ben Okri’s 1991 novel The Famished Road.

With Speak Gigantular, her first short-story collection, Okojie continues her fictional forays into the surreal. “Animal Parts” is set in a Danish town. A single mother refuses to do anything about her small son’s growing tail; she loves him as he is. But the town turns against them, the mother’s mental health deteriorates and she carries out terrible acts of violence. Okojie shows how the pernicious pressures of community conformity can drive outsiders to despair...[more]

A Film - Ojukwu and Ifeajuna : The Last Meeting During the Biafra War


By Tolulope Olamide Ajayi:
Set in 1967 during the Nigerian civil war, an imprisoned Emmanuel Ifeajuna, an army major, is summoned by Chukuemeka Ojukwu, the then Biafran commander-in-chief, for one last conversation – one last encounter. width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>

Karkhana, a factory for learning


Chip Bruce profiles a maker-education space in Nepal
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Karkhana, which means “factory” in Nepali, is a place where people make things and learn through doing.

The teachers are engineers, designers, artists, and scientists, but in contrast to some traditional models of learning, the environment is a teacher as well. The Karkhana site is filled with marvels: home-built antennas, a laser cutter, colorful child-designed posters, musical instruments, and more, which make the visitor ask questions and want to touch and make things.

So, it’s an education company and makerspace, one that turns the classroom into a lab for discovery. There’s an excellent slide show with many photos explaining their approach and an overview brochure describing the variety of classes they run...[more]

Lagos International Poetry Festival 2016


Lucia Edafioka reporting for This Is Africa:
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Although the Lagos International Poetry festival is only in its second year, literary giants from around the continent are applauding Efe Paul Azino and his team for showcasing African poetry and bringing poets and art lovers together to celebrate the beauty that is African poetry...[more]

On Indigogo - OPPORTUNIGEE - A Refugee Opportunity Hub


The World's First Refugee Opportunity Hub in a refugee camp
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Gambians to cast votes with marbles instead of ballots


CNN reports
Gambians headed to the polls Thursday to cast their vote for the next president, not with a ballot but with a unique marbles and drums system.
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The country's electoral body praised the saying it was "more transparent, credible, and fair," allowing the country's illiterate citizens to vote.
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In Burkina Faso a Bracelet aims to help all children get a birth certificate


CNN reports:
iCivil Africa, a company based in Burkina Faso, has developed a birth certificate system which involves a smartphone, a bracelet and encoded text messages.

The company hopes the new system will make birth certificates in sub-Saharan Africa more accessible in an area where more than half of newborns currently go unregistered.
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The Loomio Handbook: A Roadmap for Worker-Owned Cooperatives


Over at the p2p foundation:
Cat Johnson: Loomio is a worker-owned cooperative building open-source software to help organizations and communitieswith collaborative decision making. Based in New Zealand, the co-op is part of Enspiral, a collaborative network of social enterprises. Loomio’s vision is to create a world where it’s easy for anyone to participate in decisions that affect them.
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The Loomio Co-op Handbook provides a behind-the-scenes look at the co-op: what inspired it, how the organization plans and implements its work, how it is organized, and its values as a co-operative social enterprise...[more]

Addis Foto Fest


From Africa Speaks4 Africa
The fourth edition of Addis Foto Fest features 126 photographers from 40 countries across the globe. Held every two years in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, this year’s festival will take place from 15 December to 20 December.
Sarah Waiswa, Uganda
“The main objective of the Addis Foto Fest is to promote the global exchange of images in order to educate, inspire and foster understanding as it relates to photography from Africa and the global photography community,” according to the organizers...[more]

"Trump victory might actually be good for Africa" - @ayittey


George Ayittey writes:
I normally do not comment on US events because I feel we have enough problems in Africa and American problems are for Americans to resolve.

However, for some strange reasons, the election victory of Donald Trump on November 8 was hailed by some African despots, such as Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi Perhaps, Trump’s blunt and tough talk resonates with them and validates their own authoritarianism. Most Africans, however, bemoaned the election of Trump. For example, David J Hornsby of the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, argues that, under Trump, the US may turn inward, economically and politically, less sanguine about drafting new initiatives for Africa – such as The Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) by former Pres. Bill Clinton, The President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) by ex-President George W Bush and Power Africa by Pres. Obama.

Actually I believe the Trump victory – notwithstanding the insults he heaped on Latinos, Blacks, women, Muslims, etc. – and the concomitant US retreat from Africa might actually be good for the continent. US/Western policies in Africa have been a spectacular failure. More than $700 billion has been pumped into Africa since 1960 with little to show for it. Here are a few highlights
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Apprenticeship and mentorship – the key to technology talent development? - @asemota


Victor Asemota writing in the Guardian:
...For a very long time, a model has existed in Eastern Nigeria where artisans or traders take in young people for apprenticeships. These apprentices learn from hands-on experience and are eventually set up to run their businesses with seed funding provided by the individual who mentored them. This practice is called “Imu Ahia” and it has been the secret to the success and the creation of vast commercial distribution hierarchies and networks formed by the Igbo. It has enabled them to dominate commerce in our part of this world.
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Liberian author Vamba Sherif on his novel 'Land of my Fathers'


From the BBC World Service:
His book "Land of my Fathers" re-imagines the country's history through the eyes of Edward Richards, a man born into slavery in America, who later sought a new life in Liberia. Initially published in Dutch, the book was recently translated into English. Vamba spoke to Focus on Africa's Kim Chakanetsa at the book launch in London...[more]

Watch Tending the Wild: Decolonizing the Diet.


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